Today, the European Council (EC) removed Albania from the list of countries from which COVID-19 travel restrictions should be lifted.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brunei, Japan, and Serbia were also removed from the list.
Kosovo, Serbia, and North Macedonia were removed from the list on August 30.
In June 2020, the EC began to gradually lift COVID-19 travel restrictions for non-essential travel to the EU for countries that meet a set of criteria.
In June 2021, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Montenegro were added to this list following a steady decrease in infection rates.
However, given the climbing number of infections and deaths across the region in July and August, the Council has now reversed its decision for all Western Balkan countries.
Despite the Council’s recommendation, individual member countries can decide to allow non-essential travel for vaccinated visitors.
The Council will proceed to monitor the situation and update the list based on how the numbers evolve.